Pool Shutting Down Registrar Threads: Refocusing From Drop Catching To New gTLD’s

We just got this email from Pool.com this morning:

“The impending launch of new gTLDs has led Pool.com to refocus its business away from an emphasis on the secondary market and to a broader range of on-going services. ”

“As a result, we will be shutting down a number of our registrar threads effective January 10, 2013. ”

“This will have an effect on some of your domains acquired through Pool.com (a list of names is included below)”.

Pool.com of course has been one of the three major dropping domain services, although in recent years I would say lost a huge market share to NameJet.com and SnapNames.com which have direct and exclusive deals with the top 10 registrars (except for Godaddy.com which conduct their own drop auctions).

However also in recent years Pool.com has powered the sunrise and land rush periods for new domain extension roll outs including Asia., Co and .XXX.

According to the announcement is seems Pool.com has made a decision to give up registrar threads in favor of concentration on the new gTLD’s some of which may appear as early as the 4th quarter of 2013.

However after the email was sent out Richard Schreier of pool.com sent thedomains.com this message

“”Pool.com is not abandoning the drop game, we are simply changing the distribution of threads that will use more partner oriented threads in the drop.

Second, there is no change in Namescout.com, in fact as the central management interface for these registrars it is critical that Namescout.com stay in place to continue to offer ongoing management options up to the point that the registrars shut down.  But Namescout.com as an accredited ICANN registrar is not changing.””

Going back to the email, regarding any domains you got from pool.com that are at namescout.com you have two choices:

“As a result, you have the following two options with regards to your domains provided they are older than 60 days”:

1. Login to your Namescout.com account and submit a “Renew Now” order for each of the names listed below. Namescout.com is offering 1 year renewals at a significant discount which will be applied automatically upon checkout. (com, org, info are $9.50, net $7.85 and mobi $15.00) This renewal will also transfer your domain to Namescout.com as the Registrar of record such that you will be able to continue to manage them through the current interface without any changes.

2. Submit a routine transfer through your preferred registrar.

“If you choose neither of these options in the next few days, ICANN will take steps to allocate the domains in inventory to another registrar through a public bid process. ”

“We cannot predict which registrar they will choose; if all your names will end up in a single registrar; or, whether there will be an interruption in your ability to manage your names while ICANN conducts this process”.


  1. says

    I have had better success getting domains through Pool, than SnapNames. That’s why they are now screwing those of us that used their service.

    According to Pool support, those domains that were caught and registered less than 60 days prior, will have to be re-allocated by ICANN. They are not transferable at this point and Pool offers no other solution.

    Not sure how many domains in total are affected, but I can imagine lawsuits coming. Due to this, I will not be using Pool.com, they lost my trust.

  2. says

    Pool.com support continues passing the buck onto ICANN. It’s hilarious. They are shutting down a service for which I paid to receive a service; that’s their OWN registrars they are closing.

    Instead of using common sense, which is to a) inform users of an upcoming change b) set a timeframe for moving out every domain currently within the 60 day ‘no transfer’ window and then c) shutting down the registrars – Pool.com jumps to “c” with full disregard of the consequences.

    I don’t want my domains to sit in limbo for whenever ICANN decides to allocate a registrar to these orphans. Pool.com needs to step up to the plate and fix this.

    I’m not even touching the subject of issuing remedies for the time I’ll spend debating or keeping track of this, let along fixing it.

  3. jose says

    read the signs. pool is going out of business. i wonder how they have stayed in business for such time. they have been increasingly loosing domains to the competition for years

  4. says

    Would like to see what the CEO, Richard Schreier, is willing to state publicly after the backlash. Who will continue to trust Pool.com with their business, after this latest act?

    Certainly not me. I am still waiting to hear back from the Pool.com support in a manner that’d make business and common sense. Pool.com is leaving those who cannot move their domains out due to the 60 day rule, in the hands of the ICANN bureaucracy.

    I will never trust a Canadian company ever again.

  5. richardschreier says

    Acro et al,

    I have posted on ACROs blog as well but will post here also. There has been a lot of concern expressed that this process of shutting down registrars somehow jeopardizes a domain registration and/or prevents a registrant from ongoing management. There is a further misconception that the process to select a new registrar by ICANN will somehow take an indeterminate amount of time during which domains in inventory will be in some kind of “limbo” status. None of this is true. Allow me to explain.

    1. “Shutting down” a registrar in this context first means that at that point in time, they will no longer take on new registrations. So, adds, renewals and transfers in will not be accepted. But, any other kind of domain management will be allowed (get your auth code, set DNS for example). So, up until the actual date that inventory is in the new registrar, Namescout will continue to provide domain management services.

    2. ICANN is moving quickly to try and have a new registrar in place as soon as possible. They issued an email today asking registrars if any would be interested in obtaining the inventory and have requested responses “by no later than 17:00 UTC on Monday, 7 January 2013.” There is no reason to believe a decision will not be made quickly.

    3. The actual technical process (a bulk transfer) to the new registrar is also very quick. It will be done by the registry on ICANNs approval. It may take time to implement but again, as long as the inventory is “in” the old registrars, Namescout will provide ongoing management. As soon as the inventory is transferred, the new registrar is obligated to reach out to all registrants per whois data and provide new credentials. ICANN I believe will also publish the identity and contact information. My experience in previous bulk transfers is that if there is an outage of any kind of management it will be measured in hours, not days.

    There is some concern as well about domains that are less than 60 days old which cannot be transferred away because they are locked at the registry. The process for these will be the same after the selection of the new registrar as it would have been at Namescout. Contact the new registrar, get your auth codes and submit your transfer through your registrar of choice. Of note is ICANNs preference to have the entire inventory of names awarded to a single entity. I believe this will be the case.

    I hope that provides some clarity.

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